Sampling Design

In order to be able to evaluate the success of measures on landscape scale an experimental design that depicts temporal and spatial variability of the response variable and enables to quantify effects induced by measures is necessary.

For the model and demonstrative FInAL-project the so-called BACI-design (Before-After-Control-Impact) is well suited. Within the BACI-design at least two landscapes with similar environmental conditions and agricultural structure are chosen and a baseline monitoring is conducted to generate a robust and reliable depiction of the current state of the response variable (Before = status-quo).

If both landscapes show similar variation in their response variable, specific measures (Impact) can be implemented within one of the landscapes. A monitoring program is conducted in both landscapes with the same sampling strategies. In this way, the reference landscape (= Control, business as usual) allows the assessment of environmentally based fluctuation of the response variable and the impact-landscape (in this case the Landscape Laboratory) reflects change caused by implemented measures (in addition to environmental change). A robust baseline and parallel monitoring of a reference landscape is key for the interpretation of such data.

Following the BACI-design, three study areas were chosen for FInAL. In each of these, one landscape serves as Landscape Laboratory, where insect facilitating measures implemented, and the other landscape, which is similar to the Landscape Laboratory in usage and structure before the transformation process is initiated, serves as reference, respectively.